First reported by Shams Charania but later revised by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, former Tar Heel point guard Coby White has agreed to a three-year deal with the Bulls worth 40 million dollars. Many Bulls’ fans wanted him back in the Windy City, but not necessarily at that steep price tag. Yesterday, the range of 30 million dollars was floating around for the reserve point guard, and today’s news comes in at a 10 million dollars higher figure, which may rub some of the Bulls’ following the wrong way. Considering White is effectively Chicago’s sixth man, he’ll need to take even more of a leap in efficiency and playmaking if he will earn his lucrative extension. This deal was done almost immediately when free agency started, leaving the basketball world to wonder what other suitors were in line for White’s three-point and playmaking services. How does this affect the rest of Chicago’s offseason plan, and will the North Carolina point guard’s role change from last season?
Locking Up The Future
This is an interesting deal for White, who averaged less than ten points per contest on a career-high 44% from the field last season. He certainly would have had interest leaguewide if Chicago chose to move on from the 23-year-old guard, but three years is just enough time for him to shift into the starting role at point guard, a spot that has been vacant since Lonzo Ball’s injury two seasons prior. He will likely begin the 2023-24′ season off the bench as he has the last two campaigns, but if he continues to expand his skillset at the rate he did the last two seasons could see himself in the starting five before years end.
This move also secures one of the two significant gaps for Chicago this summer, reserve point guard. With White headed for free agency and the starting role left open, the Bulls’ two top needs were to find two playmaking, outside-shooting threats which could balance their wing-heavy roster. This move also likely means the Bulls will part ways with Ayo Dosunmu, a fellow point guard set to hit free agency should he receive an offer better than Chicago’s qualifying offer of 5.2 million dollars.
Reloading The Same Roster
After Arturas Karnisovas said again after draft night a week ago that the Bulls would be aggressively looking to improve their roster and manufacture a better product than presented during the sub-.500 effort during the 2022-23′ season, the only two moves thus far have been bringing back existing pieces. The two most expected moves this offseason were the extensions for Nikola Vucevic and Coby White. They also indicate that the Bulls will likely appear highly similar to last year’s disastrous campaign seeing that most of the free cap space has now been devoted to two existing pieces from a failed season.
Barring any trades involving DeMar DeRozan or Zach LaVine, this lineup will look eerily similar to last year and will hopefully feature a new facilitator at the helm. The last domino for the front office to figure out is now the starting point guard position, which can either be achieved through a blockbuster trade for a disgruntled star such as James Harden or Trae Young or a lower-tier move like bringing back Patrick Beverley, trading for Monte Morris, or looking elsewhere for point guard help. Luckily, Chicago does not need to bring in a superstar at the position as they already feature three All-Stars on the roster. They’ll be looking for someone whose greatest assets are ball security and defending at a high level.
Coby White will dawn the black and red threads for another three seasons; what do we think of the deal? Glad to have him back, but was the 23-year-old worth the investment at this price tag? Comment below!